There’s no question that the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia is a landmark. The Memorial, at the intersection of King Street and Callahan Drive, towers above Alexandria’s Old Town neighborhood and is the distinguishing characteristic of Alexandria’s skyline.
Today, there’s no question that it’s a national one, too.
The Alexandria Memorial to George Washington was one of four awarded the designation by the National Park Service today. The announcement, which coincides with the 262nd anniversary of George Washington’s third degree Masonic ceremony, was made this morning by United States Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. The designation recognizes sites that possess exceptional value and quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States.
It is the 121st landmark to receive such a designation in Virginia and the sixth one from Alexandria.
Can you name the other five in Alexandria without looking at the link?
“The Memorial’s importance within the Masonic Fraternity has been long understood,” said Shawn Eyer, the Memorial’s Director of Communications and Development. “We are delighted that the Memorial is now being recognized as national historic landmark. It is both an impressive local landmark and a striking achievement of Harvey Wiley Corbett, one of the twentieth century’s foremost architects.”
The Memorial is a museum, open to the public for tours and general admission daily. It is also an active Masonic Temple, housing Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22 and Andrew Jackson Lodge No. 120. In 1788, George Washington served as the Charter Master of of Alexandria’s Lodge No. 22, and the collection of Washington artifacts preserved by that lodge forms the basis for many of the exhibits available in the Memorial today. The Memorial is also a popular local venue for concerts and special events.
The other three National Historic Landmarks named today are:
- Lafayette Park in Detroit, MI
- First Peoples Buffalo Jump in Cascade County, Mont.
- Red Rocks Park and Mt. Morrison Civilian Conservation Corps Camp in Jefferson County, Colo.
Learn more about the Memorial at this link.
(Flickr Pool photo by Ruben Picon-Feliciano, on Flickr)